Affordable housing in discussion for North Melbourne

Affordable housing in discussion for North Melbourne
Kaylah Joelle Baker

A council-owned car park in North Melbourne is currently under discussion by the City of Melbourne as the latest site to be converted into affordable housing.

The open-air car park at 44-60 Curzon St currently has 31 car spaces, and following parking studies conducted before and during the pandemic the space has been under-utilised, leaving it as a possible prime spot for an affordable housing project.

The announcement comes after an independent analysis reported that the city is currently short of 5500 affordable rental homes.

To make matters worse, if nothing is done to change the situation Melburnians will be lacking 23,000 affordable rental homes by 2036.

“There’s a significant shortfall in affordable housing in Melbourne, and the pandemic has led to even greater demand,” the council’s health, wellbeing and belonging portfolio lead Cr Dr Olivia Ball said.

 

This proposed project aligns with the council’s Affordable Housing Strategy 2030, which commits to leasing one of our sites for an affordable housing project in the next five years.

 

The council’s stance to provide more affordable housing as part of the Affordable Housing Strategy 2030 has been greatly encouraged by the local community.

Following a late 2020 survey conducted during the strategy’s development, 95 per cent of respondents were in support of council-owned land becoming long-term affordable housing.

The stated priority of the housing to be offered within the next five years, while a great step forward, has only continued to cement how devastating the unaffordable housing crisis in Melbourne is.

Determined to deliver more accessible housing, the City of Melbourne is partnering with the Victorian Government to find solutions.

And while Lord Mayor Sally Capp said there was “no single solution” to solving the crisis, she said the council was aware of the “significant benefits” affordable housing projects, similar to the one currently under discussion, could have on the local community.

“For every $1 spent on affordable housing, more than $3 in benefits flow into the local economy,” she said.

“We have a responsibility to make sure our city is inclusive, fair and liveable for everyone, so we’re working to increase the supply of appropriate affordable rental housing in our municipality.”

The City of Melbourne is seeking further community feedback on the Curzon St site, with results to go into consideration of the space at a Future Melbourne Committee meeting later in the year.

While nothing is finalised yet, the combination of the on-street parking already in the area, the lack of car park usage and the recently conducted survey supporting affordable housing, could work in the favour of the space being considered suitable.

Submissions on whether the car park should transition into the currently proposed 30 to 60 purpose-built homes can be submitted up until May 15 via the Participate Melbourne website.

If positive feedback is strongly received, community consultation will continue during the further planning of the building •

To have your say, visit: participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/curzon-street

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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